Conservation remains a hot ticket in today’s divided political climate. Meet five organizations making conservation an everyday topic of conservation within the sporting community.
The term “conservationist” gets tossed around a whole bunch in the hunting and fishing community. But what does that term mean? It can be as simple as a referral to the fact that hunters and anglers pay for conservation just through participation. Excise taxes from purchased hunting and fishing gear go directly back to conservation. Additionally, fees from tags and permits benefit our state wildlife fish and parks agencies.
But for dedicated hunters and anglers, conservation goes beyond the basics and morphs into organizations filled with like-minded people. Meet five of these organizations making waves in the hunting and angling world and providing platforms for the everyday conservationist.
2% for Conservation
A lot of hunters and anglers call themselves conservationists. And 2% for Conservation is banking on the ones that put both their money and their time where their mouths are.
Their in-house certification program validates that either an individual or a business is donating at least 1 percent of their money and 1 percent of their time to conservation-related issues and organizations. Due to their efforts, this certification is a trusted source for knowing where to best vote with your dollar.
Companies like MTN OPS and Stone Glacier have the 2% for Conservation stamp of approval on their websites. And the bet is on hooking the conservation-minded buyer into a long-term relationship. A young organization, 2% is quickly building membership across the board as people and businesses seek to validate their efforts.
Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership
Known in the industry as the TRCP, the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership is a centralized voice in conservation for individuals, businesses, and nonprofits with a vested interest in the long-term viability of hunting and fishing. With this in mind, they’re looking to communicators in the field to help spread the word.
Each year, the organization hosts the Western Media Summit. This year, experts from across the country held panels on chronic wasting disease, hunters’ declining numbers, and the economics of the outdoor recreation industry, among other subjects. The network of communicators in attendance spans the gamut: traditional media, social media influencers, bloggers, and podcasters. And from their fingertips and smartphones, the ripples of information spread.
This commitment to communication ensures that the issues at hand are making it into a wide net cast across the fast-paced, all-consuming amount of information faced by the daily consumer.
Backcountry Hunters & Anglers
With less than 15 years under its belt, Backcountry Hunters & Anglers boasts over 20,000 members and an ever-expanding repertoire of chapters in both the U.S. and Canada.
Commonly known as BHA, the organization focuses on being a unified voice for public lands advocacy. But most notably, BHA members are rabid in their passion for the organization’s mission. The “Public Land Owner” ethic is a social media hotbed, with over 72,000 Instagram posts celebrating the public lands and waters beloved by the organization’s members. Its best-selling T-shirt has been seen on the likes of Joe Rogan and Steven Rinella, among others.
BHA is betting on creating an all-in conservation-focused lifestyle for the everyday hunter and angler. With events like the annual Rendezvous and nationwide Pint Nights, the communal nature of social media has caught on. If you haven’t heard the “How can you tell if someone is a BHA member” joke, the answer is that it’s the first thing they’ll tell you. And they’ll likely be wearing either a T-shirt or a hat that backs up their claim.
The nine founders of Artemis Sportswomen came together to create a female-driven narrative in the world of conservation like nothing that’s preceded it.
Artemis made its debut in 2017 under the umbrella of the National Wildlife Federation. Since then, its founders and ambassadors have been blazing new paths in a hunting and angling world traditionally dominated by male voices. They’ve sent women-only fly-ins to Washington, D.C., to stump for public lands, created public lands advocacy training for sportsmen and sportswomen, celebrated stories of women in the field, and more.
More girls and women are hunting and fishing today than ever before. As a result, Artemis is poised to be a pillar in the sporting community for women afield. And with young, passionate voices like Jess Johnson and Allie D’Andrea as founding members, its legacy is sure to last.
Keep It Public
Keep It Public refers to itself as “The Coalition for Public Land.” And unlike the other organizations in this list, it depends entirely on volunteers.
The mission of Keep It Public takes the big and broad look towards conservation. Hunters, anglers, hikers, backpackers, ranchers, birdwatchers, and more make up its ranks. With this in mind, it seeks to be an all-encompassing organization that transcends boundaries to be a unified voice for public lands.
Hunting and angling groups can often take on an insular, traditional point of view. But Keep It Public defies that narrative and bets against it for the betterment of our public lands. The organization’s Conservation Campouts are notably growing in popularity across the West. And the hands-on approach to unity is something our country as a whole could use a lot more of.